DENVER (CBS4) - A Colorado lawmaker is not happy about the Boy Scouts lifting a ban on gay scout leaders and the criticism is getting national attention. CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd found that even members in his own party disagree with his remarks.
State Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt, R-Colorado Springs, has a history of blurring the lines between his private rights and professional responsibilities. This time he was was on a rant condemning the Boy Scouts of America for lifting their ban on gay scout leaders, suggesting they would molest children and deserved to die.
"The Bible says this, Matthew chapter 18, "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea," Klingenschmitt said.
He was speaking as Dr. Chaps, a Colorado Springs online chaplain. But Klingenschmitt is also a state lawmaker and members of his own party say he's out of line.
"Whatever Dr. Chaps says impacts Rep. Klingenschmitt and the constituents from House District 15," said former Rep. Mark Waller who represented that district for six years.
Waller refused to back Klingenschmitt when he ran for his old seat, noting he has a history of this sort of thing.
According to federal court records, Klingenschmitt was court martialed for wearing his Navy uniform to political protests. The secretary of the Navy called him "professionally unsuited" for service. The Navy kicked him out.
Dave Montez, head of One Colorado, a gay rights organization, says in this case Klingschmitt has a right to free speech, but there are limits to what he should say as a state lawmaker.
"Anytime people advocate for violence or in this case death for any Coloradan it should be taken seriously, especially if it's coming from an elected official," Montez said. "The Bible is full of joyful messages and perhaps maybe saying some of those every now and then would be a good idea."
Both Montez and Waller say it's time for the Republican Party to do what the Navy did and kick Klingenschmitt out.
"I think Klingenschmitt should step out of the Senate race and step away from responsibilities as representative of House District 15 and then go and say all inflammatory stuff he wants to say," Waller said.
Klingenschmitt drew fire earlier this year when he said an attack on a Longmont woman whose baby was cut out of her womb and died was a "curse of God as a result of abortion."
Republican leaders have been quick to denounce Klingenschmitt's remarks saying they don't represent the views of the party. Neither Klingenschmitt nor the Boy Scouts had a comment.
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